I have recently started writing a novel that is tentatively titled The Kraken and the Clock Tower. These posts will document that process, including a weekly word count check in, along with various thoughts and feelings along the way.
I’ve been putting off writing this post. Partly because it seems a bit self serving. I like doing the word count posts because it keeps anyone interested up to date, and it documents it for myself in a place where it will always exist (unless the apocalypse happens and, god forbid, we lose all internet access). I also believe that if I can’t even get through a first draft of a novel on my own, then maybe I don’t deserve to call myself a writer.
But I’m writing it anyway. A Writer’s Sidequest was initially conceived as a blog designed to document my writing process across various projects. And that should include the bad along with the good. So, what’s happened to stall this project just 15,000 words in?
I hesitate to call it writer’s block. I’m not a fan of the term, truth be told; it feels a bit egotistical. But unfortunately, there’s not really a better term for it. I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall where I’m sitting and staring at my manuscript and nothing’s coming. I know the general advice is to just sit there and write words until something worthwhile happens, but it’s just not happening for some reason.
That reason, I believe, is that I had no idea what I was getting into. I’ve referred in the past to Post-Apocalipstick as the novel I had to write to learn how to write a novel. But it was, by design, a quick dirty shiv to the guts. Just a nasty 70,000 word pulp. Which meant that 15,000 words into that story, I had already introduced the main players and I was full steam ahead into the main plot.
Writing an epic fantasy is a totally different discipline. 15,000 words in and I’m still introducing characters and concepts and world building, all while pushing my plot forward to keep things interesting. For Post-Apocalipstick I wrote an outline of around a page, and it was enough to work from. So I figured it would be the same this time. It is not.
So, I am back to the drawing board a bit. I have entered a process that I am calling re-outlining, so far on part one, chapter by chapter. Including pertinent information like what the character’s specific arc is over the course of the story (so I know where they’re headed) and what pieces of information I need to put in right now so the reader gets an accurate picture of the world.
It’s difficult. And I think writing The Kraken and the Clock Tower is going to be a huge, huge project. Which is why I’m determined to take the time and get it right, rather than just bailing at the first sign of trouble.